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As a writer, I’m also an avid reader. Though I’ll admit, I don’t read or get to read nearly as much as I did in middle and high school. 

Since joining the Author Conservatory in 2021, this program encouraged and required us to read both books of individual choice as well as mandatory reading. Because if we want to be excellent writers, one of the best ways to learn is to read excellent craft. 

I’ve decided to compile my top ten book picks from the last year. If you’re looking for a little bit of mystery, a lot of suspense, and a whole lot of mental health, these are books I’d recommend for you to read in 2024.

1. I Love Jesus, But I Want To Die by Sarah J. Robinson

When I first found this book, I thought in my heart, “Yikes.” Do I really love Jesus and want to die? Do other people truly feel this way? Maybe I’m not alone?

For myself, I’ve been blessed to never suffer with thoughts of “wanting to die.” While my father has and often is suicidal, those are struggles not known to me. I do not know what depression feels like to the extent that one wants to die. However, I do know what depression feels like when you want to go to sleep and not wake up until things are better. Until the pain is gone. Until the anxiety ceases. Until the trauma has forsaken its ugly scars.

To anyone who struggles with mental health, this book is for you (though I caution it with trigger warnings that are clearly labeled in the book).

As someone who dreams of writing nonfiction books about mental health, this book was an eye-opener for me. The author writes in a friendly, compelling, and helpful tone. Every chapter was written not only with Sarah’s story but with practical applications for you to take away. It didn’t feel like a self-help book. It felt like a friend writing to someone they love, from a place of experience, yet still struggling themselves. A memoir. But a memoir with an emphasis on the readers and how to help them.

I’m excited to read rich resources like this along the way to full-time authorship that encourage, inspire, and equip me for the journey.